28-year-old man held for asking teen to spend night with him

A 28-year-old travel agent was arrested a day after he allegedly barged into his neighbour’s home and sought sexual favours from a 13-year-old girl last week.

Only the teenaged girlwas at home when the incident happened at Mariamma Nagar in Worli on Friday.

The accused was identified as Ramprakash Mahato. He allegedly asked the victim to “spend a night” with him if she wanted him to withdraw a complaint registered against her two elder brothers, said the police.

The incident occurred around 1.30pm, when the victim, a Class VIII student, was studying at home and her mother and younger brother out watching Dahi Handi

in the neighbourhood. The victim’s elder brothers were out fishing.

Senior police inspector Dipak Pawar said the families of the victim and the accused often used to make complaints against each other.

In the complaint, the victim’s mother said: “I rushed back to our home on hearing my daughter screaming. I saw Mahato coming out of my house and on seeing me he fled from the locality. I was 150 metres away from my house when Mahato entered it.”

A police officer said the victim told her mother everything.

“She told her mother that he promised to cancel the assault complaint that he has registered against her two brothers over a money dispute if she slept with him,” the officer said. “When she opposed his advances, he got annoyed and charged on her and misbehaved with her.”

Acting on a tip-off, the police caught Mahato from his hideout in Worli on Saturday. He was booked under sections of the Indian Penal Code for 354 (A) (physical contacts, advances, demands, involving unwelcome and explicit sexual favours), 452 (house-trespass alter preparation for hurt, assault or wrongful restraint), 504 (insult) and 506 (II) (criminal intimidation) and under sections 8 and 12 (sexual assault and harassment) of the POCSO Act. He is remanded in police custody tillSeptember 15.

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